PV supports women entrepreneurs – many of whom are mothers of children in our programs – through a two-year training program called the Women’s Empowerment Project (WEP) and another initiative – a Savings and Lending Collective. Our goal is to empower women personally and professionally to achieve financial independence and create more gender equality in their lives.
In partnership with a local non-profit ANADES (The New Dawn Association of El Salvador) and their Center for Early Childhood Development, PV provides children from impoverished backgrounds (aged two to six years old) access to a transformative, rights-based, hands-on education characterized by a trauma-informed approach. PV provides 50 scholarships so children can access high-quality early education for 11 months of the year. Additionally, our efforts to train and equip teachers and support staff enables them to have the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the children’s comprehensive development and social-emotional needs.
Meet Gladys Barrientos, one of the 2019-2020 Women’s Empowerment Project (WEP) entrepreneurs in San Ramon!
Five years ago, Gladys opened her empanada (a fried pastry) business right outside of her home and has since started selling fruit. She had never received training in business management, so when she heard about the WEP, she jumped at the opportunity to gain the knowledge to grow her business. One skill Gladys practices regularly is better budgeting her business’ funds and saving some of her profits. Since she joined the WEP in January, she’s gone from not even saving a penny to saving $45! That is a huge accomplishment for someone working as a street vendor and whose profit margin can be low. Gladys has also set both short-term and long-term goals for her business. In the coming months, her goal is to own a more durable grill and table and chairs so her clients to sit and enjoy her empanadas. In the long-term, Gladys envisions herself owning a restaurant where she also makes and sells other typical Salvadoran dishes. In just a few short months, Gladys has already started putting into practice the various management skills she is learning. These skills will lead her to reach her goals.
We are very happy to have such a dedicated, motivated, and disciplined entrepreneur in the WEP!
For the last three years, Gersun has received a PV scholarship which gives him the opportunity to attend the Child Development Center. Since he was baby, he’s gone through multiple medical procedures due to health issues, which affected his overall growth.
The Center's staff referred Gersun to speech therapy and to the children’s hospital for additional services. His mom has also accessed support from the staff and teachers about how to best guide Gersun in his social and physical development.
All of the support Gersun has received has helped him grow and perform just like any other child his age. Now, he’s one of the best at playing soccer!
Carolina and her two children, Steven and Melany started attending the Child Development Center in 2018. This year Melany is in the 5 year-old classroom and Steven is in the 3 year-old classroom. Both have expanded their vocabulary, enjoy playing with their classmates, and are very independent. Carolina shared that she enrolls her children at the Center because they receive good quality education and the schedule allows her to work.
One of Carolina's biggest learning experiences from being at the Center has been discovering the importance of practicing gender equality in her family. As a single mother, she said that it can be difficult to know how to raise two children of similar ages. However, by attending the parent meetings she has learned that she should not be prohibiting her daughter from playing with "boy" toys or her son with "girl" toys. Now, she lets her children share their toys regardless of their gender and that has resolved some disagreements between them.
Thanks to Programa Velasco Sponsors, Carolina is able to provide her children a good education and make use of the social work services that have helped Steven overcome anger management issues. Carolina says their participation at the Center has helped them become closer as a family!